(Literally, everyone goes there to “live.”) Before his death, the OASIS’ creator, James Halliday (Mark Rylance), promised his entire fortune-and total control of his company!-to the victor of a three-part contest he designed.
The tide turned for Ready Player One when the movie premiered at South By Southwest to acclaim and good word-of-mouth from attendees, with many calling the movie a throwback to director Steven Spielberg’s earlier blockbusters.
Collider: This movie is just so delightful and fun!
Though much of the narrative is set in virtual reality, the puzzles are intriguing, the action intense and the payoff at the end is worth all the build-up. But. Or is the movie so brilliant you don’t want to see it ruined by a sequel?
But in this version of the 2040s, drawn from the popular 2011 novel by Ernest Cline, everything old is new again. There’s also this comment from Cline he tells The Hollywood Reporter: “I’d always meant to write more in the series, but I never imagined the movie would get done before I finished writing them”. Art3mis has nearly catlike features, Aech is half-human, half-machine, and Parzival is nearly anime, stylized with snake-like bands on his skin. I think the reason is that the movie is at odds with itself.
The OASIS is comprised of worlds where people can dance, race, battle and interact. It would be interesting.
CLINE: Yeah! And I had actually mapped out, with outlines, what I thought Parts 2 and 3 would be.
Ironically, “reality is the only thing that’s “real”, is the moral at the heart of this two-hours 20 minutes of CGI-powered thrills and spills, which surely set a cinematic record for the most visual and verbal pop culture references ever crowbarred into one film.
When Halliday dies, he reveals that an “Easter egg” has been hidden inside the game.
Which is why Ready Player One isn’t just a great movie for gamers or those who grew up in the ’80s, but a wildly entertaining film for the masses by a septuagenarian filmmaker who still wants to have fun. I worked very hard.
“The way I describe it is: If you’re in a vehicle called a movie, the story is straight ahead out your windshield, and all the cultural references are out your left and right side windows, and you can choose to look left or right, or to look straight ahead at the story – it’s your choice”. It was a tricky process. In fact, it’s far better than we had any reason to expect, sending you out of the theatre on the kind of roller coaster high that Spielberg mastered in the front half of his career.
CLINE: You know, he has.
“We’re a little bit like a gypsy enclave and it’s always been that way”. That has given him untold riches and power – but also, I’m guessing, the feeling that he hasn’t lived up to his responsibilities as a patriarch.
This film, at its best, is a candy-coated blast of movie-going nirvana.
CLINE: No, not directly. Internationally, the movie is expected to bring in over $140M on its first weekend of play. After staging a whiz-bang OASIS chase scene set in NY, replete with King Kong and T. rexes slashing into the frame, who wants to be dropped back into quotidian slumminess? Their attention to detail in putting these elements in the film make it a must-see for anybody with a pulse. He added another trophy to his shelf for helming the World War II epic “Saving Private Ryan” (1998). At one point, disaster strikes and rather than making time for a proper reaction, the story skips straight back to Wade and Art3mis. That was why it was astounding to me that he stopped, while we were doing post-production, and went off and made The Post. I was just working with actors and setting up shots.
That will change as the “Ready Player One” deepens, of course, as the stakes become bigger than at least Wade initially realizes.
In a recent interview, the author said, “I had to start writing the sequel a year ago while the movie was being finished just to stay ahead of the curve”.